Adventures to gentleness

I'm about as clueless as an empty book when it comes to discipline. But we're approaching a very unavoidable phase with our children; testing limits, finding boundaries, you know, the disciplining stage.

The more trouble our two year old gets into, the more I question myself - my parenting. I thought I want to discipline my children because I want them to be good children. I want them to be well-behaved and polite. I want them to respect me. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, I didn't think of how I should discipline them. I thought I was doing the right thing by simply correcting them whenever they're wrong. Pushing = spanking/yelling. Spitting = spanking/yelling. I yelled to get my way (I mean, I am the parent, right?!) I demanded power.

But this so-called "discipline" has not gotten me the results I wanted. My two year old still pushes, spits and dislikes to listen to me. I am not being effective here. I must be doing something wrong. It came to the point where I've begun to hurt him more, hurt others and in turn caused more problems. It was when I decided to stop this madness, this method of discipline. I believe they called it the traditional parenting - spanking, unreasonable punishing (because I am the parent), etc.

I remember the last time I spanked this limit-testing-two-year-old. I got so angry at him that after I spanked him, I sent him to the closet to calm down. And I hid in our bathroom to cry. I was begging God for an answer. What in the world was I doing wrong?! And I cried hard. When I calmed down and went back to him, I hugged him. And realized that he doesn't deserve this even though he doesn't listen.

Then I did what I always do - research. I googled, pinterested, went to the library, bookstores, asked my questions, etc. The first book I resorted to was my bible. I know there are a million books about parenting out there but the bible has answers. Believe me! Got a problem to solve? Read your bible. You'll find the solution there.

The resources I've found to be useful are the forums about parenting. I just randomly googled "how to stop spanking" (yes, I was that desperate) which led me to this: Gentle Discipline.

It's completely different from the traditional way. I've gathered books that would equip me in this discipline journey. So far, there is one thing that I've learned; disciplining children is a discipline in itself for the parent. I have a bad temper. I hate it when I don't get my way. But this discipline journey has got me holding my tongue, using my words instead of hands, and being gentle; all the same things that I tell my son every day. It's only been a month since we began this journey. My son has not changed at all. But as we go on this journey to gentleness, I found that I am the one who has changed. It's hard to practice self-discipline all day when I am being pushed to my limits. But because I can overcome my anger, I can be more gentle towards him. Because I have a calmer attitude towards him, I can think clearer without my emotions getting the best of me. I can find more effective solutions to our problems.

This adventure in gentle discipline isn't just for my son, but it is also for me. I am learning to be a gentle mom/wife so I can raise gentle boys. God has given me wisdom by reading my bible. The books I got has given me specific tools to handle situations. And all of this has made me less angry, less unreasonable, more aware of the main cause of the problem, more compassionate towards him & others. I believe I had to go through this to learn how to be more disciplined in parenting, in myself and towards others. I wouldn't have known what I know now if God didn't let me go through this with my son. I'm not saying that my son is now well-behaved. But I still love him - his curiousity, wildness, hyperactivity and all that he is. I am embracing all of him. I accept all that about him because I care about him. And that is why I discipline him. I discipline him to love discipline and not fear it. All the other things I desire from him (respect, power, quality relationship, etc) will follow.

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